Friday, March 10, 2017

Give Us This Day Our Daily Share

Instead of praying as Jesus taught, an American version of the Lord's Prayer might use a phrase like "Give us each day our daily feast", or a daily banquet or buffet. Clearly most of us would not be satisfied with an equal portion of what the world's seven billion have to live on in a typical day.

Should we not be content with just our fair share? Or do we somehow have the right to expect far more than others, and more than simply enough?

Jesus' prayer is, we should note, clearly not just for any one individual or family, but the pronouns are in the plural. The us and the our represent all believers worldwide, not just a favored few.

As author Todd Wyward points out in his book Rewilding The Way, Jesus clearly has the Exodus story in mind when he speaks of "daily bread". During their 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. God's people were provided with a special food, manna, but only in sufficient quantity for each day, except on Friday when they were allowed to gather enough for the upcoming Sabbath as well.

Enough. Simply enough. That's a concept we have a hard time with, given our lifelong addiction to the accumulation of more, much more and still more. And sadly, when it comes to our health, we suffer from obesity and greatly increased risks for diabetes and other medical problems while millions are malnourished.

Yes, Jesus did enjoy a good feast every now and then, but instructed us to invite the normally uninvited and needy when we do plan one, and warns those who feel entitled to "fare sumptuously every day".
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